Bilbo Symbolism Analysis

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Legendary fantasy author, J.R.R Tolkien in his novel The Hobbit, implies that Sting, the weapon carried by our protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, symbolizes his heroism, courage, and determination. He develops this idea by first introducing the sword as an indirect result of him trying to pickpocket a troll. It is discovered when Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves defeat the trolls, and sift through their treasure trove. He finds the dagger, and although it is insignificant for a time, it later comes of use when Bilbo is forced to defend himself from the devilish Gollum. However, it’s not until Chapter 8, where Bilbo slays the spider, and renames the sword ‘Sting’. In the book itself, Sting represents Bilbo’s heroism. This excerpt from teenink.com states it well. “The finding…show more content…
An article written about symbolism in The Hobbit on Litcharts.com presents this idea like so, “...Sting symbolizes Bilbo’s changing nature and proves that ordinary things -- a dagger or a hobbit -- are full of surprises.” (The Hobbit Symbols) . Throughout a larger part of the book, Gandalf assures Thorin and the dwarves that Bilbo is the right man for the job. This is because Gandalf can recognize potential, and that is exactly what he saw in Bilbo. Time after time, even when it seems all hope is lost for Bilbo, Gandalf keeps his faith in him where the dwarves do not. A prime example of this is when the party escapes from the goblins and discover that Bilbo is missing. “The dwarves wanted to know why he had ever been brought at all… Gandalf answered angrily: ‘I brought him, and I don’t bring things that are of no use...If we can only find him again, you will thank me before all is over.’” (Tolkien 92-93) Gandalf sees the potential in all things no matter how they may appear on the outside, hence why he chose the hobbit in the first
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